Kampungkayell

Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

Friends for dinner (Majorly NON HALAL food entry up ahead)

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Sambal belacan for the Loh Hon Chye
Dinner for 8
Choi sum & garlic stir fry

We didn't have our friends FOR dinner. We had them over to have dinner with us.

It wasn't any special occasion but Mum had made something that's been a favourite of mine ever since I can remember.

Keluak curry.
Keluak Curry

Buah Keluak is a this little dark grey nut. Favoured by the Nyonya or the Portuguese Eurasians. It's more commonly made with Chicken. But in our family, pork is meat of choice. Or specifically spare ribs. The bone-in gives the curry a sweetness and richness that belies it's rather dark demeanour.
Keluak meat mashed into my rice

Each person was given their own chopstick (singular) to dig out the meat inside the nut. The meat itself is black and tarry and for those on a low carb diet don't bother. It just does not taste the same without hot rice and the keluak curry gravy drowning the rice. Or as they say in mamak's, "banjir."

The taste of Keluak can be strange for Keluak virgins not knowing what to expect. It has a distinct earthy flavour with a tinge of bitterness. But the soft, oily texture is akin to adding buttery smoke to your hot rice. All the spices that go into the curry only serve to frame that flavour.
Loh Hon Chye

Mum had also made Loh Hon Chye which is traditionally a vegetarian dish. But being the carnivores we are, she actually sometimes uses spare ribs as well besides a good deal of "lam yue" and dried oysters.
Sambal belacan on my Loh Hon Chye

With uncharacteristic restraint, and a nod towards tradition, Mum deigned to leave out the ribs. But there was no way she was leaving out the delicious flavouring agent of the smoked, dried oysters.

I'm not certain how many people eat "Loh Hon Chye" this way, but in our family sambal belacan is laid out and you help yourself to liberal amounts to mash into the "vegetarian" dish. Amazing doesn't come close. The "lam yue" gives the dish such a smoky sweet sourness along with the heat of the chillies that my mouth is watering as I write this. No wonder I am the size I am! ;-)

We also had "Chee Keok Seen" or Vinegared Pigs Trotters. Since Mum didn't make this one dish I feel safe in saying that it was not the best I'd ever tasted. It lacked the bite of vinegar and the heat of the sufficient ginger. Since this dish is a confinement dish meant to put the heat back into a post natal woman's body, it also sometimes includes a dash of Benedictine Dom.
Chee Keok Seen

Being the ever filial son (I hope my mother is not reading this - she'd probably laugh herself silly) I must be honest and say with no bias (nudge nudge wink wink) that Mum's Loh Hon Chye and Keluak curry are the best.

Furthermore, no pig is safe with us. If you have a pig for a pet, keep it away from our house lest it become breakfast/lunch/dinner.

11 Comments

tip to self: do NOT visit this blog after just having had unimaginative ang moh food

hehehe ;-) hugs sze ;-)

OMG. I need some pork.

HAHA Paul...am thinking of making Rasa Malaysia's Char Siew ;-)

oh, the first time i heard of Keluak Curry.

When the page is loading, i thought i saw Ketiak Curry.

Then again, with half of me growing up in penang, we eat sambai belacan with anything, everything.

Like there is an instant bottle of hand-pound sambal in the fridge. All you need to do, add in some lime juice.

hmm, we even eat it with out maggie curry.

Hey Joery, I used to put sambal belacan on buttered toast, layered with bananas, and a slice of cheddar cheese and then grill it. YUM!

Now that's 2 firsts for me! 1stly first, keluak. Dun think I ever had any. Pitiful me. 2ndly first, ur sambal belacan sandwich! o.0"!!

wow, so much porky in one sitting LOL... sounds so delish! i have to say moms cooking are always the best :D

Hey Tummythoz; If you wanna try there's a place in Melaka that I know of that's REALLY good for Keluak. My Mum doesn't make it very often! Otherwise can come over to try! hehehe

babe_kl; pork is really the best. No offence meant to my Muslim or jewish brethren, but I really don't think I could be either. ;-) Will blog about roast pork and crackling one day when I make it again, with babi guling spices.

omg omg omg... i've finally found someone else out of melaka who loves keluak...! at home we cook it with gerang asam. aahhhhh can just about taste it now, memory-wise. and now i remember why i hate (and love) food blogs. :( am hungry...

scenedee; haha ;-)

Thanks for visiting. Strictly speaking mine isn't a food blog. ;-) Its a blog with food as one of the stars of the show. ;-)

Frankly, I'm not a very good food blogger because I lack the patience to whip out my camera and take umpteen shots of food before I eat. I'm like "MUST.EAT.NOW" kinda guy.

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